Modeling and detection of regional depth phases at the GERES array
Abstract. The Vienna Basin in Eastern Austria is a region of low to moderate seismicity, and hence the seismological network coverage is relatively sparse. Nevertheless, the area is one of the most densely populated and most developed areas in Austria, so accurate earthquake location, including depth estimation and relation to faults is not only important for understanding tectonic processes, but also for estimating seismic hazard. Particularly depth estimation needs a dense seismic network around the anticipated epicenter. If the station coverage is not sufficient, the depth can only be estimated roughly. Regional Depth Phases (RDP) like sPg, sPmP and sPn have been already used successfully for calculating depth even if only observable from one station. However, especially in regions with sedimentary basins these phases prove difficult or impossible to recover from the seismic records. For this study we use seismic array data from GERES. It is 220 km to the North West of the Vienna Basin, which – according to literature – is a suitable distance to recover PmP and sPmP phases. We use array processing on recent earthquake data from the Vienna Basin with local magnitudes from 2.1 to 4.2 to reduce the SNR and to search for RDP. At the same time, we do similar processing on synthetic data specially modeled for this application. We compare real and synthetic results to assess which phases can be identified and to what extent depth estimation can be improved. Additionally, we calculate a map of lateral propagation behavior of RDP for a typical strike-slip earthquake in our region of interest up to 400 km distance. For our study case RDP propagation is strongly azimuthally dependent. Also, distance ranges differ from literature sources. Comparing with synthetic seismograms we identify PmP and PbP phases with array processing as strongest arrivals. Although the associated depth phases cannot be identified at this distance and azimuth, identification of the PbP phases limits possible depth to less than 20 km. Polarization analysis adds information on the first arriving Pn wave for local magnitudes above 2.5.